Sunday, December 13, 2009

Agriculture-Based Climate Change Solutions are Poverty and Hunger Solutions

Want another example of how the energy and land use solutions that are needed to solve climate change will improve peoples' lives in many other ways?

In the case of agricultural practices that increase soil storage of the heat-trapping gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), such practices are also hunger and poverty solutions, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  The Triple Pundit reports:

“The overall challenge we are facing is to transform the technical mitigation potential of agriculture into reality,” said Alexander Müller, FAO assistant director-general.

He continued: “Many suitable technologies and farming practices to sequester carbon in smallholder agriculture already exist. These include practices used in conservation and organic agriculture, based on no/low tillage, utilizing residues for composting or mulching, use of perennial crops to cover soil, re-seeding or improving grazing management on grasslands and agro-forestry, which combines crops and trees.

“Nearly 90 percent of agriculture’s potential to reduce or remove emissions from the atmosphere comes from such practices. These practices are also known to have a positive impact on hunger and poverty reduction. However, barriers to adoption of these technologies and practices are a key challenge that needs to be overcome.”

Fortunately, major efforts are underway to step up use of these more sustainable farming techniques:

(last week), the FAO moved on a couple of climate change and food security fronts, including the launch of a multi-donor program to support sustainable, low-emission agriculture practices in developing nations.

FAO announced that Finland, the first country to participate in the program, will kick-in $3.9 million over the 2010-2011 period. The agency intends to approach other potential donors for further funding under the five-year initiative.

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